William Rutherford Mead


William Rutherford Mead

Brattleboro, Windham County, Vermont, USA
Death 19 Jun 1928 (aged 81)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Rome, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Lazio, Italy
Memorial ID 63548084 View Source
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Architect. Partner in McKim, Mead, and White firm -the premier Gilded Age architecture firm. He was born in Brattleboro, Vermont. His sister, Elinor, married novelist William Dean Howells, and his younger brother Larkin Goldsmith Mead became a sculptor. He graduated from Amherst College in 1867, and later studied under Russell Sturgis in New York City. In 1872 he collaborated with Charles Follen McKim and in 1879 they were joined by Stanford White to form McKim, Mead, and White. In 1883, he married Olga Kilyeni (1850-1936) in Budapest, Hungary. In 1902, King Victor Emmanuel conferred on him the decoration of Knight Commander of the Crown of Italy for his pioneer work in introducing the Roman and Italian Renaissance architectural style in America.
In 1902, Amherst College conferred upon Mead the honorary degree of LL.D. In 1909, he received a degree of M.S. from Norwich University in Vermont. William and Olga lived in Rome, Italy, where he was the President of the American Academy in Rome until his death in Paris. Mussolini helped move his body to Rome for burial. Olga died in 1936 in New York City, and she gave her estate to Amherst College. The money was used to build the Mead Art building, which was designed by James Kellum Smith of McKim, Mead and White. The building was completed in 1949.

Mead Paper Archives, 1840-2001 (Bulk: 1846-1950) in William Rutherford Mead (AC 1867) and Olga Kilyeni Mead Papers, Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library.


William Rutherford Mead
Died June 20, 1928
Olga Kilenyi Mead
Died April 18, 1936

Gravesite Details

12 A on map from Non-Catholic Cemetery 12-2019. Next to the Pyramid.

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